ALPA Defends US Airways Pilots'' Earned Pension Benefits in Court

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chipmunn

Guest
ALPA Defends US Airways Pilots'' Earned Pension Benefits in Court
ALEXANDRIA (PRNewswire) - The Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA) is proceeding with its legal objection in U.S. Bankruptcy Court today to prevent the unilateral distress termination of the US Airways pilots'' defined benefit pension plan.
ALPA is challenging US Airways'' assertion that it can first terminate the pilots'' contractual defined benefit plan without ALPA''s consent, and then impose a defined contribution plan into the pilots'' working agreement.
US Airways pilots have already agreed to annual pay, work rule and retirement concessions totaling $646 million, enabling US Airways to proceed with a successful restructuring, said Captain Bill Pollock, US Airways Master Executive Council chairman. By asking the Court to approve a distress termination without ALPA''s consent, and then impose an excessively inferior pension plan onto the pilot group, US Airways is attempting to force pilots to bear an unacceptable and unjust burden that permanently harms pilots'' retirement income.
In response to US Airways'' motion to seek a distress termination of the pilots'' defined benefit plan, ALPA filed an objection on February 14 maintaining that this dispute must be resolved through arbitration under the Railway Labor Act, which governs airline labor contracts, rather than through the Court. ALPA is asking the Court to deny US Airways'' request to impose the terms of the proposed pilot defined contribution plan and to deny the approval of the financial requirements for a distress termination. ALPA''s 40-page objection is available on the US Airways Pilots website at http://www.usairwayspilots.org .
ALPA, the world''s oldest and largest airline pilot union, represents 66,000 pilots at 42 carriers in Canada and the U.S.
 

johnnyfleet

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Oct 3, 2002
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Chip,

Shouldn't the Pilots that no longer wish to stay with US Airways with a terminated pension just leave and find other employment, so those of us that wish to stay with the company can?

This is what you urged the rest of us to do when voting on concessions.

Johnny
 
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chipmunn

Guest
ALPA's legal brief is a compelling argument and interestingly the judge may not have jurisdiction to terminate the pilot defined benefit retirement plan. Today's hearing will be interesting and will not be the end of the process where the company has elected to unilaterally terminate the pilot pension.

US Airways is attempting to "distress terminate" the pilot pension plan and has not taken this action against any other labor group, including FSA and CSA (their plans were frozen).

The ALPA MEC has a number of contingency plans and dependent on today's ruling, will reconvene its special meeting in Washington at the Key Bridge Marriott on Saturday morning, February 22.

Chip
 
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chipmunn

Guest
LavMan, I should be in the court-room, but today I have an important event at school with my kids, which I was asked by my son not to miss. I am disappointed I am not in the court- room because I wish I could be there with my colleagues.

Johnny, the issue is the company does not have the unilateral right to abrogate a CBA. Furthermore, ALPA is being asked to shoulder a disproportionate amount of the financial burden. The pilot group has taken three cuts to fund its pension, whereas the other employee groups have taken just one.

Now the airline wants the pilots to take a fourth cut and the MEC is in total support, by a 12-0 margin, this will not happen.

I am receiving current reports from the hearing the company's formal response to ALPA's objections are being heard in the courthouse as I write this post.

The company is stating that it has no intention of abrogating any portion of the pilot CBA, rather it's acting in good faith per the December 13 LOA ratified by the MEC.

It appears to me that the company is hanging its entire case on the LOA that they claim states ALPA agreed to the DB plan termination and subsequently agreed to negotiate a replacement DC plan.

This did not happen and ALPA has a compelling argument, the company is currently not seeking to argue.

The Decmeber 13 letter is an agreement to a process should the PBGC or IRS terminate our plan. That has not happened; therefore, the letter is rendered moot.

The letter did not state what the plan would contain, nor did it state that ALPA had agreed to a follow on plan.

At today's hearing he company just said they have no intention of invoking any provisions of S.1113 and it appears ALPA may win its argument in court.

This will be very interesting to see how this pays out.

Usfliboi, management reads this message board and I will not publicly discuss our strategy, but I am encouraged.

Chip
 

usfliboi

Veteran
Aug 20, 2002
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Chip, What do you think the alternative is? I mean if this is required by rsa and gov what is the solution.. Fold the company?
 

cat 111

Advanced
Aug 25, 2002
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Johnny, It seems like the shoe is on the other foot.I don't think any union would support their strike by alpa.If they strike and the company shuts it's doors how can alpa pay them a stike fund when there is no more company to strike against!!!Well,the pbgc could pay them their 28,000 I guess.
 

Andy S.

Member
Dec 21, 2002
26
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[blockquote]
----------------
On 2/21/2003 10:36:18 AM chipmunn wrote:

At today's hearing [t]he company just said they have no intention of invoking any provisions of S.1113 and it appears ALPA may win its argument in court.

Chip
----------------
[/blockquote]

If this is report is true, then the motion must fail. The "confidential" side letter cannot be construed to be a mutually agreed upon modification to the existing CBA. The law is quite clear - no contractual relief via negotiation or Section 1113, then no distress termination. The PBGC, of course, can always unilaterally take action in the form of an INVOLUNTARY termination. However, the fact that they haven't already done so speaks volumes.

Here's my prediction. The current motion will fail. Then management will return to its December tactic of "agree or we will liquidate". However, both parties will have good incentive to come up with a less draconion solution like a freeze of the pension plan.

Of course, Dave & Dave might still try to "cram down" their solution. At that point ALPA should then petition the Court to have a trustee appointed to replace the current management.

Andy S.
 

usfliboi

Veteran
Aug 20, 2002
2,070
270
I am amazed...... What is it that alpa thinks its gonna achieve???????? LMAO This is so uncanny.... its like shooting themselves in the foot.... I cannot believe this is anything other than CYA for alpa i really cant . What stratergy LOL. How to make us look good and we fought and rallied the troops? Oh what a tangled web we weve......
 

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